Messi has agreed on move to PSG, his father says

The Argentine superstar arrived in Paris on Tuesday after father and agent, Jorge, confirmed Messi had agreed to join Paris Saint-Germain following his abrupt departure from Barcelona.

Argentinian football player Lionel Messi waves to supporters from a window after he landed on August 10, 2021 at Le Bourget airport, north of Paris, to become Paris Saint-Germain's new player [Sameer al-Doumy/AFP]

Lionel Messi landed in Paris on Tuesday with the 34-year-old Argentinian superstar set to sign a deal with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).

Earlier in the day, the Argentine superstar’s father and agent, Jorge, said Messi had agreed to join PSG following his abrupt departure from Barcelona.

French newspaper L’Equipe and Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo said the football icon had reached an agreement to join the Paris club on a two-year deal.

Messi arrived at Le Bourget airport to the north of the French capital around 3:30 pm (13:30 GMT) and was greeted by hundreds of PSG supporters who had gathered hoping to catch a glimpse of their new signing.

Messi, who waved to the crowds while sporting a Paris t-shirt, was then expected to undergo a medical before his signing could be made official by the Qatar-backed club.

Supporters gather outside Le Bourget airport, north of Paris to welcome Argentinian football player Lionel Messi [Sameer al-Doumy/AFP]

The developments follow days of speculation over the football superstar’s future.

Messi, who established himself as one of the world’s greatest players during a 20-year stay at the club he joined as a schoolboy.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner and record goalscorer for both Argentina and Barcelona, wept on Sunday as he bade farewell to Barcelona.

The departure came after the club said it could no longer afford to honour a contract reached with Messi, blaming La Liga’s fair play rules.

Messi will join an already formidable PSG front line, which includes former Barcelona teammate Neymar and young France striker Kylian Mbappe.

The addition is set to boost the club’s ambitions of winning their first-ever Champions League.

It is also set to provoke a renewed debate about UEFA’s financial fair play rules, which were first introduced in 2009 and set spending limits on teams based on their revenue.

The rules were meant to prevent unsustainable overspending and discourage outside injections of cash, but have been criticised for favouring larger, more established clubs.

They are seen by some as ineffective.

Messi’s last four-year contract with Barcelona was worth a total of 555 million euros ($650m) – reported to be the most lucrative contract in sports history.

Messi is set to make 35 million euros ($41m) a year under the deal reached with PSG, according to multiple reports.

The superstar is only the latest big-name arrival at PSG.

Spanish defender Sergio Ramos joined the club after leaving Real Madrid, as did Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum after running down his contract with Liverpool.

Italy’s Euro 2020-winning goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma also joined after his contract with AC Milan ran out, while Moroccan fullback Achraf Hakimi joined from Inter Milan for a reported 60 million euros ($70m).

Source: News Agencies